Editor's note: Due to sexual content, some readers may find the following column objectionable.
That irrepressible, lovable Hustler publisher Larry Flynt has done it again.
The rabid Clinton defender offered $10 million for a nude photo of Jenna Bush, President George W. Bush's 19-year-old daughter. In the April 2001 issue of Hustler magazine, Flynt made his "pitch." The "promotion" featured a photo of Ms. Bush's head superimposed on someone else's body:
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"The Unprecedented $10-Million Beaver Offer. Jenna Bush, This Could Be You! Hustler's readers have preselected you to receive this bonafide offer of TEN MILLION DOLLARS, just for lying around and playing with yourself -- in front of a camera, of course. Yours was the only t--- in the First Family to receive so high an appraisal. Your sister was barely in the running. Imagine how much of your daddy's legal debt TEN MILLION DOLLARS could repay. Come on, Jenna! Accept Larry Flynt's TEN MILLION DOLLARS and raise America's flag! ... This shot's a fake; how about the real thing?" Charming.
Recall, during former President Clinton's obstruction-of-justice-gate, Flynt placed a full-page ad in The Washington Post offering money in exchange for GOP dirt: "Have you had an adulterous sexual encounter with a current member of the U.S. Congress or a high-ranking government official?" Anyone having "documentary evidence of illicit sexual relations" would be rewarded with "up to $1 million." Flynt hit pay dirt with then-incoming Speaker of the House Bob Livingston, R-La., when Flynt uncovered evidence of a Livingston extramarital affair. The revelation torpedoed Livingston's speaker position, with a gleeful Flynt making the talk show rounds while condemning Republicans for sexual hypocrisy.
Did the Clinton White House not-so-silently cheer Flynt on? Flynt told The New York Observer that Clinton gave him a high-five, "The president sent word to me, you know – ahh, he was thankful for my effort, and maybe after he left office we could break bread or something." And, didn't former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart actually call Hustler a "newsmagazine"?
Flynt, like many hot-blooded, blind Clinton supporters, just doesn't get it. The Clinton zealots simply call the pro-Clinton-impeachment-and-conviction crowd liars. For them, the "Monica Lewinsky matter" represents the persecution of Democrats – pure and simple. For them, it is beyond possibility that most Republicans voted for impeachment out of a sincere belief that Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice. For Clinton defenders, such a notion is purely outlandish.
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Someone remind Flynt what Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. – often called the conscience of the Senate – said regarding Clinton's impeachment: "I have no doubt that he has given false testimony under oath and that he has misled the American people. ... What he did was deplorable. Inexcusable. A bad example. It undermined the system of justice when he gave false testimony under oath. He lied under oath. ... And that he has – there are indications that he did, indeed, obstruct justice. The question is, does this rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors? I say yes."
Byrd, in voting against Clinton's conviction, clearly held his nose and yielded to popular sentiment, "If you believe he is guilty, how can you not vote to remove him from office? There is some logic to the question. But simple logic can point one way, while wisdom may lie in quite a different direction. In the end, the people's perception of this entire matter as being driven by political agendas all around, and the resulting lack of support for the president's removal, tip the scales for allowing this president to serve out the remaining 22 months of his term." This from a guy who voted against conviction.
Flynt proceeds from the everybody-lies-about-sex premise, and that determined Clinton-haters sought to remove the former president from office by any means necessary, legit or illegit, major or minor. Hey, if this means a "trumped-up sex scandal," so be it. This reflects the mindset of many toe-tag liberals who see the "other side" as not merely wrong, but evil.
"The enemy." That's how Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., routinely refers to Republicans. So, whatever it takes. The ends justify the means. After all, Republicans seek to search and destroy. During the 1996 Dole/Clinton race, Dick Morris served as Clinton's campaign adviser. According to Morris, Clinton told him, "Let me tell you something. Bob Dole is not a nice man. Bob Dole is evil. The things he wants to do to children are evil. The things he wants to do to poor people and old people and sick people are evil. Let's get that straight."
Emotion over reason. Degradation trumps debate. This approach makes perfect sense provided you consider the other side not simply wrong, but heartless, vicious and evil. After all, this is war. Right, Mr. Flynt?